obits

Wanda Young of the Marvelettes Dead at 78

Photo: James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Wanda Young, one the founding members of Motown’s Marvelettes, has died. She was 78. Young died December 15, Deadline is reporting, from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Young was one of the original members of the Marvelettes, which recorded on Motown’s Tamla imprint. She later became their main singer. The Marvelettes are best known today for “Please Mr. Postman,” on which Young sings. The song was Motown’s first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1, and was covered by the Beatles and the Carpenters. As the first crossover megahit for Motown, “Please Mr. Postman” laid the foundation for singers like Diana Ross and the soundtrack to every ’90s rom-com ever. The song was interpolated by Portugal. The Man on “Feel It Still” in 2017. Young did not take lead on “Postman,” but did on the single’s B-side, “So Long, Baby.” She also provided lead vocals on the band’s other big hit, “Don’t Mess with Bill.” Young sang with the Marvelettes until 1968, going on to steady solo success in the ’70s, eventually retiring from the biz. Chuck D eulogized Young on Twitter, posting a deeper Marvelettes cut, “The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game.”

Wanda Young of the Marvelettes Dead at 78